Integrated Victim and Witness Services Resource Plan 2017-2020

Reference code: 
PCD 174
Date signed: 
07 April 2017
Authorisation name: 
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Policing and Crime

Executive summary

The Police and Crime Plan (PCP) 2017-21 puts victims at the heart of everything we do and makes significant commitments to ensuring better services that are responsive to the changing nature of crime and victimisation, and an improved experience of the Criminal Justice Service for victims of crime, particularly the most vulnerable.

The victim and witness resource plan has been designed to enable the commissioning – the design, implementation and improvement – and provision of services that support victims and witnesses through their criminal justice journey, ensuring that the specific needs and outcomes for each individual victim are recognised and achieved.

This decision seeks to ring-fence and allocate funding over three financial years (2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20) totalling £47,110,918 drawn from the Ministry of Justice Victims’ Grant (projected to be £29,092,663) and MOPAC's budget (£18,018,255)  to maintain, build and better integrate existing services and increase support for priority victims through the establishment of new services, including expansion of the hate crime victim advocates scheme and the provision of new specialist victims and witness services  for children and young people.   This represents an increased investment on the previous PCP of over £6m (15 per cent) over the period of this Mayoral term.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to approve a three-year victim and witness resource plan that will operationalise delivery of the PCP commitments.

Recommendation

That the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime approve the three-year victim and witness resource plan to enable the delivery of a change and improvement programme and the provision and integration of victim and witness services with a total budget of £47, 110, 918 as indicated below;

  • The allocation of the Ministry of Justice’s Victims’ Grant projected to be £29,092,663 over the next three financial years;
  • A commitment from MOPAC’s budget of £18,018,255 over three years; encompassing:
    • £4,179,523 for the Victim and Witness Service Change and Improvement Programme;
    • £775,000 for Preventing Victimisation;
    • £16,901,030 for the Universal Service Offer;
    • £24,135,365 for Specialist Service Provision;
    • £1,120,000 for Commissioning and Programme Delivery;
  • The budget is ring-fenced for the three-year period to enable multi-year investment into front-line services and provide flexibility to respond to changes in service demand;
  • The allocation of any further budgets arising from the devolution and integration of victim and witness services will be subject to a further decision by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime; and

The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Executive Officer for activities up to the value of £499,000 in accordance with MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation.

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

  1. Introduction and Background

1.1       London now accounts for nearly a fifth of all crime in England and Wales. The number of people who live in, work in and visit the Capital is growing and becoming more diverse, resulting in an increased demand on services to keep them safe from crime and supporting the complexity and multiplicity of needs for those, particularly the most vulnerable, who are harmed by their experience of crime.

1.2       The Police and Crime Plan (PCP) 2017-21 puts victims at the heart of everything we do and makes significant commitments to ensuring better services and experience of the Criminal Justice Service for victims of crime.

1.3       As a clear demonstration of that commitment to victims, the Mayor has committed to appoint an Independent Victims’ Commissioner for London to give victims a greater voice in how services are delivered.

1.4       The Victims’ Commissioner will support the Mayor and MOPAC as we work to improve the experience of victims and survivors of crime in London.  By working with victims and victims’ groups the Commissioner will be a dedicated champion to stand up for survivors of crime throughout the capital and ensure that their voices are heard clearly and can drive improvements in victims’ services across policing and the Criminal Justice Service. The Victims’ Commissioner will have a substantial leadership role over the delivery of the investment outlined in this decision.

1.5       The new Victims’ Commissioner will focus on partnership, scrutiny and challenge and will work with central Government and stakeholders including the MPS, Crown Prosecution Service, Ministry of Justice and victims themselves, and will report directly to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.  The Victims’ Commissioner will work to ensure that the requirements and commitments under the national Code of Practice for Victims of Crime are being met.

1.5       This plan will deliver MOPAC’s ambitions to build on existing services, increase support for priority victims and transform the current provision into an integrated, accessible, responsive, quality service offer to victims and those affected by crime and help deliver the commitments of the PCP.

1.6       These services will be designed to help victims and those affected by crime to deal with the immediate aftermath, both emotionally and practically, of experiencing or witnessing a crime; helping them navigate the criminal justice system and ensure that they receive their entitlements under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime; and enabling them, through the provision of support and therapeutic services, to confidently continue with their lives and minimising their experience of crime impacting on their health and wellbeing, education and employment, and family and relationships.

1.7       This plan will operationalise the delivery of the PCP and the associated outcomes by contributing to the protection of victims of high harm crimes, the reduction of repeat victimisation, improve victim experience in line with compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, and improve public perceptions of policing and the criminal justice service, which will be monitored through MOPAC’s performance dashboard.

1.8       Creating a three-year programme will enable MOPAC and its partners to deliver the victim-related ambitions of the PCP by:

  • Sustaining and continually improving current provision whilst also continuing to develop and integrate those services to ensure victims receive effective support and are able to cope and recover from their experience.
  • Building on existing good practice; MOPAC has commissioned and led a number of successful projects and pilots that have evidenced positive outcomes. These are generally specialist provision to support the most vulnerable victims and it is therefore proposed to expand these into commissioned services over the next three years to meet the need across London.
  • Responding to changing need; the PCP includes a number of new areas of work, which respond both to evidenced need and mayoral commitments to do more, such as hate crime, child sexual exploitation and the provision of Restorative Justice.
  • Demonstrating change and improvement; a commitment to a multi-year commissioning will be a significant mark of our commitment to putting victims first.  It will also facilitate greater progress in the development of integrated services, bringing MOPAC and MPS provision together, alongside the anticipated devolution of the court-based Witness Service.  In addition, this approach will support MOPAC’s leadership role in improving the response to victims from other statutory partners and will helpfully signal our broader intentions to the provider sector.

1.9       MOPAC assumed devolved responsibility from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for commissioning the majority of victims’ services in London from 1st October 2014 and annual funding is granted to MOPAC by the MoJ for this purpose.  MOPAC supplements this grant from its own budget, through successful applications to other Government funding streams and by partnering with other commissioning bodies.

1.10     MOPAC currently commissions or joint-commissions a range of universal and specialist victim services, including those providing practical and emotional support for victims of crime and Restorative Justice, as well as specialist services, providing support to victims of domestic violence, hate crime, rape and sexual exploitation.  MOPAC also provides grants directly to the Voluntary and Community Sector to build capacity through its Small Grants Fund.

1.11     This decision seeks to set a three year commission plan that allocates funding drawn from the Ministry of Justice Victims’ Grant (projected to be £29,092,663) and MOPAC's budget (£18,018,255) from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020. 

1.12     The overarching commissioning strategy and the commitments detailed above have been developed and aligned to MOPAC’s outcome-based approach, and are focused on ensuring compliance with the EU Directive on Victims' and the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, addressing areas of demand and need as identified through victim data analysis, and on delivering MOPAC's strategic priorities and ambitions as outlined in the PCP.

1.13     The three year plan is set out below and is focussed on the following areas:

  • Universal Service Offer
  • The Victim and Witness Service Change and Improvement Programme;
  • Specialist Service Provision
  • Preventing Victimisation; and
  • Commissioning and Programme Delivery.

2.         The Universal Service Offer

2.1       Last year there were 734,190 identified victims of crime recorded by the Metropolitan Police Service in the last year. 301,611 individuals were referred to the core universal service provided by Victim Support and, of these, just over 10 per cent took up the offer of further support.

2.2       In addition, only approximately half of trials are classed as effective (Ministry of Justice 2015/16 data). Two in five cracked or ineffective trials are attributed to the victim or witness not attending or withdrawing (Ministry of Justice 2015/16 data).

2.3       MOPAC will ensure that there are consistent, joined-up, end-to-end universal services available and accessible for all victims and witnesses that are responsive and of a high quality underpinned by:

2.4       Commissioning a ‘one-service’ approach. Currently, a victim or witness may deal with a confusing number of different agencies and individuals through their criminal justice journey.

2.5       In collaboration with service providers and users, MOPAC will co-design the provision of an integrated, accessible, responsive, quality service offer to victims and those affected by crime operating under a single brand under which all victim and witness services in London will operate.

2.6       Shared principles and values will embed a ‘one-service’ culture that focuses on collaboration and coalition rather than competition, putting the needs of the victim and witness first and before that of the organisation, its management and staff.

2.7       Enhancing support for vulnerable victims and witnesses. The design of the universal service offer will streamline the referral pathways through improved information sharing so that the victim or witness does not have to repeat their story whenever they ‘touch’ another service.

2.8       The universal service model will ensure that there is a consistent and effective support mechanism that travels with the individual victim or witness through their cope and recovery and criminal justice journeys. Vulnerable victims will have a lead case worker as their principle point of contact and anchor point.

2.9       Responding to changes in victimisation. Cyber and cyber-enabled crime, particularly fraud, has been rising exponentially. These crimes can be as devastating as ‘real world’ crimes. They are often highly organised, ruthlessly and relentlessly targeting the most vulnerable victims. The complexity of the crime, which can cross police service areas and international borders makes investigation a significant challenge and victims are often reluctant to report the crime through fear or embarrassment.

2.10     Over the course of three years, additional provision for victims of fraud, focusing on the most vulnerable, will be developed as part of the universal service offer, building on the work of the Economic Crime Victim Care Unit that has been piloted in London.

2.11     Providing restorative justice as a universal entitlement. The PCP commits to rolling out victim-centred restorative justice provision for London. There is an increasing body of evidence that restorative justice is associated with high levels of victim satisfaction by giving victims a voice and the opportunity to communicate with the person who caused them harm.

2.12     This enables them to explain the impact of the crime and helps them find ‘closure’ for the victim that cannot always be achieved through formal criminal justice, which focuses is on the punishment and rehabilitation of the offender to prevent further offending and victimisation.

2.13     There is also evidence that Restorative Justice benefits the perpetrator, enabling them to reflect on the impact of their behaviour and look forward to a life without crime and inflicting harm.

2.14     Over the course of the change and improvement programme, restorative justice will be embedded within the universal service offer for all victims of crime.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to approve an indicative three-year resource requirement of £16,901,030 for the provision and further development of a universal service offer available to all victims and witnesses.

3.         The Victim and Witness Service Change and Improvement Programme

3.1       As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, MOPAC is seeking to deliver a three-year change programme that will transform the siloed and disparate range of victim and witness services into an integrated, accessible, responsive, quality service offer that meets the diverse and individual needs of all victims and witnesses in London by:

3.2       Securing further devolution to enable the full integration of victim and witness services. Core to the delivery of the benefits of an integrated victim and witness service is the further devolution of the Witness Service currently commissioned nationally by the Ministry of Justice and the integration of the Witness Care Units provided and managed by the Metropolitan Police Service.  A fully integrated service will provide a consistent, high quality service that provides consistent support to more victims and witnesses.

3.4       There is a significant dependency on the integration of victim services with the Witness Care Units managed by the Metropolitan Police Service. Building on projects that have scoped the re-design of victim and witness services, a detailed business case and integration plan will be developed for consideration and integration with the Metropolitan Police Service’s transformation programme.

3.5 Integrating victim and witness services will contribute to reductions in repeat victimisation, improve compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, including improving the use of Victim Personal Statements, improve the consistency of support through their criminal justice journey and leads to more effective trials through improved witness engagement and attendance at court.

3.6       Building capacity and capability within the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. London is one of the most diverse cities in the world and growing rapidly, with diversity increasing with the growing population. This is replicated in the complexity and diversity of needs that victims and those affected by crime are presenting.

3.10     The resource plan will enable MOPAC to continue to invest in building the capacity of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector and through a Small Grants Fund aligned to the priorities of the PCP to commission a range of specialised, local and tailored services for victims of crime who would not otherwise have sought or received support.        

3.11     Giving victims a greater voice that challenges the status quo. The Mayor made a manifesto commitment to appoint an Independent Victims’ Commissioner for London to give victims a greater voice in how services are delivered.

3.12     The Victims’ Commissioner will work to ensure that the requirements and commitments under the national Code of Practice for Victims of Crime are being met. Their work programme will include a review of compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and the Witness Charter, which set out the minimum standards that victims and witnesses should expect.

3.13     Improving accessibility to services and information. MOPAC is determined to remove barriers to services and improve access to help empower and inform the decisions that victims and witnesses need to make. There is a lack of awareness of victim services, even amongst professionals. The vast majority of referrals to victim services still come through the police and this is a small proportion of the victims of crime who are eligible for support.

3.14     Therefore, there needs to be a focus on raising awareness of support services of front-line police officers and staff, victim entitlements and their responsibilities and improving referral processes to ensure that victims are provided with accessible information, are offered and referred to the right support service at the right time.

3.15     However, acknowledging that not all victims report their crime to the police, the resource plan will therefore enable MOPAC to commission work to raise public awareness of victim entitlements and what services are provided and how they can be accessed.

3.16     To improve accessibility, a single online portal that enables victims and witnesses to access updates on the progress of the investigation into their crime and to help them navigate through the criminal justice system as well as access to the right support services will be created.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is therefore asked to approve an indicative £4,179,523 over three years to build VCSE capacity, give victims a greater voice, improve the accessibility of services and information and support the integration of services.

4.         Specialist Service Provision

4.1       There are increasing numbers of crimes and incidents involving vulnerable people and high risk of harm, with a commitment in the PCP to provide extra protection and support for the most vulnerable people and places in London, with a focus on violence against women and girls, keeping children and young people safe and hate crime and intolerance.

4.2       London has seen a significant increase in the numbers of domestic and sexual offences coming to the attention of the police over the last four years. There has also been a significant increase in recent years in the number of hate crimes across all categories, including disability, transgender and sexual orientation hate crimes as well as faith and racist hate crimes. Reports of child sexual exploitation are increasing and the risks to children are increasing with the proliferation of the internet and social media to target them for abuse. Knife crime is on the rise, taking a terrible toll on the young people, families and the wider community. However, we also know that these crimes are underreported to the police.

4.3       Vulnerable victims of these high harm crimes, require specialist, more intensive and longer-term support to aid their recovery and, where appropriate, support them through the criminal justice system.  Such services are provided over and above the Universal Service offer to victims.  MOPAC will therefore maintain or commission a range of specialist victim and witness services that:

4.4       Meeting the diversity of need by supporting victims of hate crime. Hate crime, where a crime has been aggravated by prejudice towards the victim because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity, has been increasing over time, exacerbated by world and domestic events. In 2016 there were a total of 19,096 hate crimes victims in London known to the police. The number of hate crimes increased by 20 per cent compared to 2015 and we know there was a significant impact on reported incidents following the EU Referendum.

4.5       The PCP commits MOPAC to developing an approach which provides better ways to report hate crime and meaningful support for victims – particularly those who are victims multiple times – to help them cope and recover.  The three-year resource plan will enable MOPAC to develop tools making it easier for victims to report hate crime when there is a reluctance to report it directly to authorities, and tackling on-line hate crime.

4.6       MOPAC will continue to develop the provision of specialist support that meets the specific needs of victims, including hate crime victim advocates and more effective support for victims of online hate crime, and to build community resilience through identifying and developing community ambassadors so that hate and extremism is no longer tolerated within those communities.

4.7       Supporting the most vulnerable victims and those experiencing the highest harm by providing specialist support services for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Victims of violence against women and girls are amongst the most vulnerable, with multiple and complex needs. Often referring to themselves as ‘survivors’, they experience some of the highest harm, requiring intensive and long-term support to cope and recover and achieve positive justice outcomes where they choose to do so.  Our specific focus on women and girls is a reflection of the disproportionate impact of these crimes on this group.  However, a new picture of abuse aimed at men is emerging and our commissioned services must respond to the suffering experienced by men and boys also. The services we commission will therefore support victims and survivors whatever their gender, and will also offer specific support for men and boys.

4.8       There were 149,123 domestic incidents in London recorded by the police in 2016. 3,381 victims of domestic abuse, accounting for 22 per cent of all victims, had been abused at least once before in the preceding 12 months. There were also 17,459 sexual offences recorded by the Metropolitan Police Service in 2016 with the number of offences of rape increasing by over 16 per cent compared to the previous year.

4.9       To provide the level of intensive, high-quality support that victims of domestic violence need, MOPAC will commission a pan-London Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) Service to help keep victims, particular those at high risk, and their children safe from harm.

4.10     MOPAC will also seek to continue the joint-commissioning arrangements with the Ministry of Justice for London’s rape crisis centres and NHS England for the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (London Havens), which provides forensic medical examinations and offer follow-up care, including counselling, tests and treatments. The provision of these services is dependent on the contributions of MOPAC’s joint-commissioners and the resource plan has no contingency to fill the gap that may be left should there be a funding shortfall from other responsible authorities.

4.11     Reducing the impact of crime on children and young people through services specifically designed for to meet their requirements. Nearly 63,000 children in London were victims of crime in the last year and, when young people are victimised, they are at higher risk of both offending themselves and re-victimisation. 1,538 children and young people are identified as at risk of child sexual exploitation and there were 17,170 investigations into child sexual abuse conducted by the Metropolitan Police Service over the last year, with the Children’s Commissioner believing only 1 in 8 abused children is identified.

4.12     The resource plan will enable the rollout of successful projects that engage young people who are victims of serious violence at Major Trauma Centres into key Accident & Emergency departments in London. It will also continue to support, in partnership with Boroughs, the provision of victim trauma interventions, recognising that young offenders have often experienced a history of abuse and victimisation which have been significant factors in their behaviours. Providing interventions with these young people supports their ability to cope and recover, and, as a consequence can help change their offending behaviour.

4.13     The resource plan will also enable the commissioning of a new single specialist victim and witness service that is designed with and for London’s children and young people. This new service will build on existing good practice, draw on evidence from the Sexual Violence Needs Assessment for Children and Young People to meet needs and gaps in provision, and provide a continuity of service that is not currently available to young victims of crime.

4.14     In conjunction with NHS England and supported by the Home Office, MOPAC will also commission two Child Houses to provide investigative, medical and emotional support in one place to young victims of sexual violence. These facilities will remove the need for young victims to go through the repeated trauma of giving their statement several times to different agencies, and improve the likelihood of perpetrators being brought to justice for their crimes.

4.15     Furthermore, through the Child House model, MOPAC will work with Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Servicer (HMCTS) and others to support the roll-out of the pilot for Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, which allows vulnerable and intimidated witnesses such as children to video record their cross-examination before a trial, rather than have to face reliving their trauma in the courtroom.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to approve an indicative three-year resource requirement of £24,135,365 for the provision, development and improvement of specialist victim services to provide intensive and specialised support required for the most vulnerable victims of crime.

5.         Preventing victimisation

5.1       The PCP has a strong focus on preventing victimisation and this follows through into the three year commissioning plan.  As the nature of crime has changed and so-called ‘hidden’ victimisation has become more visible, new partnership approaches and strategies to prevention are required. Currently, prevention services in London are patchy and inconsistent. MOPAC will take a lead in:

  • Reducing victimisation through a whole school approach to early intervention;
  • Challenging and changing behaviours through a public awareness and challenge campaign; and
  • Building the capacity and capability to respond to harmful practices by upskilling front-line staff.

5.2       Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.  1 in 5 teenage girls have been assaulted by a boyfriend and approximately 40 per cent of our young people are already being subjected to relationship abuse in their teenage years.

5.3       MOPAC has enabled the pilot of a whole school approach to tackling this issue that challenges attitudes and enables the signs of an abusive relationship to be recognised and challenged. The resource plan will enable the learning from this pilot to be used to develop a toolkit as a practical resource for all schools in London.

5.4       Violence Against Women and Girls is not natural or inevitable and until we commit to pushing forward with societal change, new and repeat victims will continue to experience harm.

5.5       With the support of partners, MOPAC has made a case to the Home Office’s Violence Against Women and Girls Transformation Fund to develop a pan-London Campaign to raise awareness and challenge the perceptions of behaviours in an intimate or family relationship, including coercive or controlling behaviours, which cannot be tolerated.

5.6       There is a growing recognition of the prevalence and impact of harmful practices, including female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based violence and faith-based abuse. These forms of abuse have been ‘hidden’ from authorities and tackling these forms of abuse that particularly victimise women and girls, is a significant challenge given London’s diverse communities.

5.7       To meet this challenge, MOPAC will enable professionals to be upskilled with the awareness and knowledge to recognise and respond to instances of harmful practices, protect those most at risk and challenge when and where such practice is accepted.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to approve an indicative allocation of £775,000 for building the evidence-base and rolling out successful prevention initiatives.

6.         Commissioning and Programme Delivery

6.1       Effective commissioning has a direct relationship with the provision of quality services that meet the needs of the people that use the service by:

  • Identifying local needs, resources and priorities;
  • Mapping out and considering different ways of addressing the needs identified ensuring they are addressed effectively, efficiently, equitably and in a sustainable way, making optimal use of available resources;
  • Making investment decisions to secure delivery of the desired service or services; and
  • Monitoring service delivery against expected outcomes through effective performance and contract management.

6.2       It is therefore important to have a commissioning function with the requisite skills and knowledge for MOPAC to enable the delivery of the commitments of the PCP through effective commissioning.

6.3       To deliver a programme of this importance and magnitude significant resources and specialist expertise will be required.  This will include building capacity and capability to support the full commissioning cycle and programme delivery, including change management, legal and procurement advice.

6.4       As such, it is proposed that approximately 2.4% of the total programme resource requirement is allocated for the purposes of commissioning and programme delivery capacity.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to approve an indicative allocation of £1,120,000 over three-years to develop MOPAC's commissioning capacity and capability as well as the provision of specialist advice to support the delivery of the three year commissioning programme.

7.         Anticipated Outcomes and Benefits

7.1       As a result of the resource and commissioning plan described above, there are a number of improved outcomes and benefits that are anticipated to be delivered.

7.2       The outcomes will support the delivery of the PCP and contribute to the protection of victims of high harm crimes, the reduction of repeat victimisation, improve victim experience in line with compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, and improve public perceptions of policing and the criminal justice service, which will be monitored through MOPAC’s performance dashboard.

7.3       Getting the best quality service that delivers real and sustainable outcomes:

  • Improving support to vulnerable victims and those that are victims of high harm crime;
  • Achieving a more joined up, end-to-end service that creates better support for victims;
  • Creating active pathways that enables improved information sharing and the ability for the victim or witness to get to the right service at the right time;
  • Creating a ‘one service’ feel, providing the full range of options to the victim or witness, to reduce the onus on the service user to navigate themselves through the system;
  • Building consistency and confidence in services and the wider criminal justice service that increases take-up and reduces drop-out rates; and
  • Create a single management and governance structure that supports service integration.

7.4       Creating confidence for providers to invest the time and opportunity to develop services:

  • Ensuring that agencies meet their obligations under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and the Witness Charter;
  • Understanding ‘what works’ and importantly what doesn’t through a process of continual improvement;
  • Creating common values and service standards that ensure that quality services are provided to victims and witnesses;
  • Ability to demonstrate the social value of the service and achieve improved value for money; and
  • Reducing duplication and sharing services where appropriate.

7.5       Providing flexibility:

  • Ability to be responsive to changes in demand for services and need of victims and witnesses across the victims portfolio by building residence and flexibility both in the use of resources and the commissioned services; and
  • Ability to consider delivery models and commissioning options to achieve the best possible services and outcomes for victims and witnesses.

 7.6      Building capacity and capability for commissioning:

  • Improved future proofing in the commissioning of services enabling closer work with providers to generate continuous improvement and evaluation;
  • Reducing commissioning and procurement costs through the longer-term contracting of services;
  • Supporting a more sustainable Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector so that it is able deliver bespoke services to meet the specific needs of victims and communities; and
  • Ability to better evidence outcomes for service users, understand service gaps and failings, and put measures in place to improve services to meet the desired outcomes.

7.7       The outcomes will support the delivery of the PCP and contribute to the protection of victims of high harm crimes, the reduction of repeat victimisation, improve victim experience in line with compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, and improve public perceptions of policing and the criminal justice service, which will be monitored through MOPAC’s performance dashboard.

8.         Financial Comments

8.1       The delivery cost over three years for the full victims’ services programme is £47,110,918.  This resource plan assumes projected Victims’ Grant income from the Ministry of Justice of £29,092,663.  A further £18,018,255 is required over three years and this will be met from within the MOPAC budget.  This includes access to a maximum drawdown from reserves of £4,724,255 over three years and £1,990,000 of underspend against the 2016/17 MOPAC budget will be brought forward into the 2017/18 budget, which will mitigate the call on reserves for 2018/19 and 2019/20.  If we draw down the maximum of £4,724, 255 from reserves over the three year stated period, MOPAC will still retain a prudent level of reserves to mitigate against any unanticipated costs in the overall delivery of the PCP.

The overall resource plan will be reviewed at the mid-year point and at year end, and will be re-profiled at least annually as the identified current assumptions, dependencies and risks are realised.  This will provide the opportunity to review progress and risks and to identify and re-utilise underspends within the planned budget across the programme to maximise delivery.

8.2       For the purposes of this decision, the income and costs arising from devolution of the Witness Service and the integration of the Witness Care Unit have not been included and will be the subject of a separate decision. These services are currently estimated to cost a combined £11,197,600 per annum.

8.3       There is a significant dependency on the integration of victim services with the Witness Care Unit, currently provided and managed by the Metropolitan Police Service. This requires the active commitment and support of the executive and senior management as part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s transformation programme.

8.4       Such a significant transformation programme will require the providers of victim services and the Metropolitan Police Service to actively commit to the co-design the operational delivery model, policies and procedures, and fully resource the change management which will support staff through this process whilst continuing to deliver high quality services to victims and witnesses.

8.5       The table below sets out MOPAC’s total financial commitments for Integrated Victim Services against the specified areas of work over the next three years. This includes the allocation of the Ministry of Justice’s Victims’ Grant and details MOPAC’s additional funding for the provision of victim and witness services for London.

Police and Crime Plan 2017 – 2020

Overall Budget

Victim and Witness Service Change and Improvement Programme

£4,179, 523

Preventing Victimisation

£775,000

Universal Service Offer

£16,901,030

Specialist Service Provision

£24,135,365

Commissioning and Programme Delivery

£1,120,000

Total

£47,110,918

 

8.6       It is estimated that a further £7,322,363 of additional funding from other sources will contribute to the delivery of specialist services through over the three-years of the resource plan.

8.7       The Ministry of Justice has allocated £10,167, 515 to MOPAC for 2017/18 service delivery.  The grant agreement stipulates that the services supported through this funding must be compliant with the EU Directive that the services must be appropriately publicised, and that MOPAC “must specify within its annual (sic) Police and Crime Plan the services commissioned within this grant funding stream”. In order to comply with this requirement the details of the funded services will be published on the MOPAC website.  Additionally the grant stipulates that funding must be spent by 31st March in each financial year.

8.8       The programme assumes that the Ministry of Justice will continue to provide a core victim grant to at least the value of 2017/18 for the following two years.  A recent letter from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice has confirmed that the overall spend for victims’ services will be protected for the current Spending Review period, which runs until 2019/20.  MOPAC will continue to make the case for a formal multi-year agreement through devolution.

8.9       The impact of a reduction or withdrawal of the Ministry of Justice’s Victims’ Grant, which accounts for approximately 60% of the funding for the delivery of the victims’ services within the programme, would be extremely high and MOPAC’s ability to deliver this three year plan would be significantly impacted.  MOPAC has also entered into agreements with a number of other commissioners including the Ministry of Justice, NHS England and/or Clinical Commissioning Groups for the provision of specialist services for Violence Against Women and Girls and for children and young people.  Of the overall budget, £8,204,050 of MOPAC funding is conditional on the continuation of existing joint-commissioning arrangements over the next three years. 

8.10     All grant agreements and contracts that may be developed within this programme will contain clearly defined outcomes linked to the broader approach to victims’ services, as well as to MOPAC’s strategic ambitions, and will be managed on that basis. Data gathered through the monitoring processes will continue to be used to iteratively inform service development and delivery.

8.11     The full implementation of the three year plan will be dependent upon all the anticipated external funding being realised.  Should there be any changes to the Victims’ Grant or match funding or financial contributions from strategic partners not be realised, further decisions will be required on how to mitigate the risk and/or whether to continue with the plan as currently proposed and to what scale.  The programme risks will be managed through the appropriate governance arrangements.

8.12     Oversight of delivery of this programme will be managed through MOPAC’s governance structures and will include a bi-annual review of progress, expenditure and risks by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and the new Victims’ Commissioner.

9.         Legal Comments

9.1       MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3(6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 MOPAC has wide incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7(2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.

9.2       Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.

9.3       The powers in section 143 were given to MOPAC following the Government’s response to the consultation Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses (2 July 2012) in which it set out a package of reforms to the way in which support services for victims of crime are to be provided.

9.4       The recommendations in this decision are in line with the legislation.

9.5       Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC (paragraph 4.8). The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by the DMPC.  The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Executive Officer for activities to the value of £499,000 or less, is in accordance with the general power of delegation in section 5.

  1. Equality Comments
    1. The Police and Crime Plan and associated commissioning plans are based on two clear   principles:
  • Victims First – putting victims at the heart of everything we do.
  • Reducing inequalities in communities – a focus on setting an agreed standard and addressing the disparities we see across the city.

     

    1. In order to address the inequalities that exist in London, MOPAC has three targeted priorities directed at those people who are disproportionately affected by crime. The priorities aim to provide specialised services that safeguard the most vulnerable in society and reduce evident existing inequalities. These priorities are reflected in MOPAC’s victims’ commissioning plans over the next three years, as set out in this decision form. They are:
      • Keeping Children and Young People Safe
      • Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls
      • Standing together against extremism, hatred and intolerance
  1. MOPAC is clear that the outputs from this commissioning plan will provide a better service to all victims whilst having a greater positive impact on certain groups in society who are disproportionately vulnerable to and affected by crime.
  2. The impact assessment for the Police and Crime Plan details the proposed priorities and assesses potential impact, whether positive, negative, neutral or unknown. In conducting the assessment, and in line with the intentions of the draft Plan, the potential impact has been assessed as positive across all objectives.
  3. The evidence indicates differential experiences of victim satisfaction and confidence amongst different sections of London’s community – BAME, women, young people, boys/men, and people with physical and mental health disabilities. The evidence also indicates that some areas of London are more vulnerable than others to crime and victimisation. However, analysis shows that the number of high harm victims that are either BAME or White is proportionate to the current London ethnic projections.
  4. The assessment has been conducted to determine whether proposed priorities would have any negative impact on any protective characteristics. In conducting the assessment the potential impact has been assessed as positive across all objectives.

    Age

  5. During the 12-month period May 2015 to April 2016, 29% of all total notifiable offences (TNO) victims were aged between 25-34, with 20% aged 35-44 and 19% aged 45-59. The evidence indicates that young people are disproportionately impacted by crime as both victims and offenders. Evidence shows that serious youth violence has increased steadily for the past three years. The number of knife crimes with injury committed against Londoners under the age of 25 is, at 1,782 offences in the year to September, the highest level since 2012. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of crime.
  6. Prevention is key to protecting young people and reducing crime over the long-term - the evidence is clear that when young people are victimised, they are subsequently at much higher risk of both offending themselves and re-victimisation.[1]

Disability

  1. 26.72% of Victim Support’s clients self-identify as having a disability. The Police and Crime Plan proposes a specific priority relating to extremism, hate crime and intolerance, with the development of a zero tolerance approach to all hate crime, the broadening of the hate crime victim advocates scheme and the implementation of an online hate crime hub to address this growing area of hate crime.
  2. There is a potential negative impact regarding accessibility to MPS services, particularly access to buildings, however, better police service for all bringing policing back to neighbourhoods will increase access/improve access.

    Race

  3. During the 12 month period May 2015 – Apr 2016. 44% of all TNO victims were White with 13% Black and 12% Asian. Service data from the current grant arrangement with Victim Support shows that fewer than half their clients describe themselves as White British. Data from the MPS is shown in the table below and shows that victims’ ethnicity generally follows the overall population ethnicity trends. In the year to September 2016, 25% of hate crime victims have been of an Asian background, 28% have been black, and 27% from a white European background.
 

Burglary

Criminal Damage

Robbery

Sexual Offences

Theft & Handling

Violence Against The Person

White

55.6%

36.9%

48.2%

57.3%

37.4%

50.1%

Asian

14.4%

11.7%

20.9%

10.2%

8.4%

16.0%

Black

8.8%

12.5%

14.2%

18.7%

7.6%

21.1%

Chinese/Japanese or South East Asian

2.4%

0.9%

2.9%

1.4%

2.0%

1.2%

Middle Eastern

1.4%

1.0%

2.5%

1.3%

1.1%

2.2%

Religion and Belief

  1. In the year to September 2016 there were 482 anti-Semitic offences recorded by the             MPS, a 1.7% increase on the previous 12 months. In the last year (Oct 2015 – Sep 2016) the MPS recorded 1,343 Islamophobic offences, a 65.6% increase on the same period (Oct-Sep) the previous year. The MPS has recorded 2,110 faith hate offences during the most recent 12 months, an increase of 45.1% compared to the previous 12 months.

    Sex

  2. During the 12 month period May 2015 – Apr 2016, 46% of all TNO victims were male with 39% recorded as female. Data from the year to September 2016 shows just over three out of four victims of Domestic Abuse and Violence were female. In the same period, almost nine in ten victims of sexual offences were female.
  3. The Plan proposes specific priorities relating to violence against women and girls and extremism, hate crime and intolerance, with the development of a new VAWG strategy, more investment in support services, a zero tolerance approach to all hate crime, the broadening of the hate crime victim advocates scheme and the implementation of an online hate crime hub. 

    Sexual orientation

  4. Sexual orientation hate crime has increased by 12.8% when comparing the 12 months to September 2016 with the previous 12 months. This equates to 221 more offences recorded. Men are predominately more likely to be victims of this crime (77% compared to 21% female). The focus on hate crime aims to impact positively on those who fall victim to these crimes.

 

  1. MOPAC’s Response
    1. MOPAC is required to comply with the public sector equality duty set out in section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010. This requires MOPAC to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations to people with the protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
    2. Some communities are over-represented amongst victimisation data and/or who fall within the scope of the EU Directive, i.e. victims of more serious crimes, vulnerable victims, particularly those whose circumstances make it difficult for them to access support, and repeat or persistently targeted victims, who must receive a prioritised service. In addition, the analysis indicates that those living in more deprived neighbourhoods are more likely to be targeted. 
    3. The proposals detailed in this decision will ensure that a victims’ referral mechanism is provided for all victims of crime in line with the EU Directive on Victims of Crime. In addition, these proposals will ensure enhanced provision through Victim Support for young, vulnerable and repeat and persistently targeted victims.
    4. The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that only 40% of victims report their crime to the police. MOPAC’s commissioned support services will be accessible to all victims, whether or not they have reported their crime to the police. MOPAC ensures that pathways into support are tailored so that the police route to support is one of many available to victims.
    5. MOPAC will continue work to build capacity and capability in the VCSE sector, which will improve the coverage of specialised services to particular vulnerable victim groups in London. This will be done through the Small Grants Fund and through direct commissioning arrangements with providers of specialised support to victims of crime.
    6. The funding being provided for specialised services will support a range of provision for victims suffering from hate crime (disability, faith, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and race), domestic and sexual violence, vulnerable victims of economic crime and young victims of crime. In doing so, our commissioning approach supports vulnerable and repeat victims, and particular sections of minority communities who are over-represented amongst victims of crime.
    7. The programmes of work covered by this decision will contribute to achieving the aims and objectives outlined in the Police and Crime Plan, which has been underpinned by extensive consultation, including focus groups with victims of crime. The Police and Crime Plan is designed to tackle the inequalities in provision of victim services that were evidenced during these consultation meetings.  MOPAC’s service provision and commissioning intention reflect and take account of these findings. Full Equality Impact Assessments will be undertaken for each of the programmes of work covered by this Decision form.
 


[1] Jennings et al (2011) quoted in Offending and Victimisation, Pathways and Interventions; Draft Literature Review for YJB Victims Reference Group, 1 September 2016


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